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The NEI 40th Anniversary Symposia Series

Advanced Adaptive Optics Technology for Basic and Clinical Vision Science

Austin Roorda

Adaptive optics (AO) is a technique to correct for the aberrations in the eye’s optics, and offers non-invasive, optical access to the retina in living eyes on an unprecedented scale. The technology is very useful for ophthalmic imaging and is being used for clinical application, but the scope of applications goes well beyond imaging. By coupling scanning laser technology with adaptive optics, we are able to track and deliver light to the retina with the precision and accuracy of single cones and can simultaneously record either perceptual (human) or electrical responses (monkey). These measurements are helping to reveal basic properties of the human visual system.

Austin Roorda, Ph.D.

Austin Roorda, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA
Email: Aroorda@Berkeley.edu

Austin Roorda received his Ph.D. in Vision Science/Physics from the University of Waterloo, Canada in 1996. In a following postdoctoral appointment at the University of Rochester, he used the world’s first adaptive optics ophthalmoscope to measure the properties of human photoreceptors, which included mapping the trichromatic cone mosaic. From 1998 to 2004, he was at the University of Houston College of Optometry, where he designed and built the Adaptive Optics Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscope (AOSLO). AOSLO systems have since been replicated in many labs and he’s licensed his patent to a company that is currently developing a commercial version of the AOSLO. He is on the executive committee of the NSF Center for Adaptive Optics and holds grants from NIH and Foundation Fighting Blindness. He is the recipient of two major awards; the Borish Outstanding Young Researcher Award (American Academy of Optometry) and the Excellence in Research and Scholarship Award (University of Houston). Since January 2005, he’s been at the UC Berkeley School of Optometry where he is the current chair of the Vision Science Graduate Group. His research involves clinical applications for microscopic retinal imaging as well as basic investigations of structure and function of the visual system.